“Although it sometimes occurs, teachers should never be handed standards, including the NGSS, and then be expected to translate them into classroom practice on their own. Teachers are certainly capable of doing so, but the time and effort required of such a task is beyond the scope of the normal teaching assignment and the time and resources allocated for the job. This guide will help the entire science education team in a district or state understand the extent of the tasks…that need to be accomplished.”
Hear! Hear! I applauded as I read Harold Pratt’s words in The NSTA Reader’s Guide to The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The Reader’s Guide contains a series of suggested recommendations for action, starting with a plan to intensely study the NGSS, including becoming familiar with the architecture of the document and thinking about the development of instructional strategies and the corresponding materials as a way of gaining a deeper and more ‘operational’ understanding of the standards and how they should be used.
A Game Plan for NGSS
The chapters in the Reader’s Guide provide details on this checklist of activities:
- Determine your state or district’s plan for adoption and implementation decisions and timeline
- Form a team or study group
- Collect resources from NSTA and other sources
- Follow a plan to study the NGSS
- Create a plan for putting the NGSS into practice
- Use the NGSS in limited trial situations
As you work your way through the activities outlined in the Reader’s Guide, keep in mind that there are other NSTA resources available, or soon will be, to support you and your team. NSTA has been helping teachers prepare for the NGSS since 2011, so visit NSTA’s NGSS Resources for a robust collection of print, online, and in-person resources.